Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Korean Squash with Chana Dal and a mystery bean

OK! I collect seeds particularly vegetable seeds like some people collect precious stones/jewelery. Never say no when an offer of a seed is made. End result I have hundreds of seeds and no idea what are they are. Sadly my enthusiasm for collecting does not extend to organizing them under neat labels. This year when we were preparing the garden bed I dumped most of the seeds and mixed them into the soil along with the compost. End result some seeds which still maintained their potency, germinated and now I have mystery vegetables popping up.

Thank you BangloreBaker and aqua you sent me on the right path regarding the mystery squash/gourd from the last post. They are indeed Delicata Squash and I will be doubly sure when I cut them open and taste them. The seeds I guess came from my dear friend over at Out of the Garden a couple of summers ago. I can't imagine where else they could have come from anyway.

Mystery bean

These beans pictured above, they again fall into the mystery vegetable category. I assumed them to be green bean but only broader. The tender ones cooked up pretty quickly and tasted like green beans sure.

Mature beans

Mystery bean

But after a couple of pickings I began to suspect that they were probably grown not for the pod but the seed. So left a few to grow to full size and sure enough they are beans of some kind but have no idea what kind!

Korean squash

Now to the Korean squash. We have a few international markets and Asian markets near where we live. Good thing about these markets are the availability of a variety of vegetables from all over. It is interesting shopping here compared to the predictability of supermarkets. Most vegetables are a novelty but if they have familiar sounds names like squash for example I buy them. That was the genesis of how I came in possession of the Korean squash. Saw this recipe with bottle gourd and channa dal over at Sharmila's Kichu Khon. Looked like the Korean squash would lend itself nicely to the recipe. The insides resemble bottle gourd don't you think?

I followed Sharmila's recipe mostly but added some ginger, green chilies and sambhar powder. Besides bottle gourd, ridge gourd and snake gourd will work well with the recipe too methinks.

Korean squash with Chana dal
1. 1 1/2 cups of chana dal soaked for an hour and cooked till soft (should not be mushy)
2. 2 Cups of chopped Korean squash
3. 1/2 onion chopped
4. 2 small tomatoes chopped (1/2 cup)
5. 4 green chilies slit
6. 1/2 inch piece of ginger grated
7. 3 garlic cloves chopped
8. 1 tbsp sambhar powder
9. 2 tsp of turmeric powder
10. seasonings: curry leaves, cumin and asfoetida
11. salt to taste + 1 tsp oil

1. Pressure cook the chana dal with a pinch of turmeric and a drop of sesame oil till soft and set aside
2. In a pan heat oil add the seasonings and when they start to turn color add the onions and green chilies and saute till they are translucent, add the garlic and ginger and saute for a minute or two
3. Add the squash and saute for 3 - 5 minutes, add the sambhar powder and give a good mix
4. Add the tomatoes saute for a minute, close the lid and let it cook till the tomatoes are soft and the squash is cooked
5. Add in the cooked chana dal, salt and 1/4 cup of water and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.

Goes with rice or chapatis.


  1. Love dal with any kind of squash, and this one looks yumm.

  2. both of these vegetables are new to me. but the dal looks great. we love to have one dal with rotis for dinner and I look for such recipes. this one I can make with lau (bottle gourd).

  3. I so love your posts on your own plants. Wish I had a wee bit of land to plant vegetables in ( am trying with pots though). :-)
    So glad you liked the recipe ... the addition of ginger sounds wonderful .. will try that the next time. :-)

  4. never seen a Korean Squash. I am introduced to so many new veggies at your place

  5. I never seen korean squash yet, dal looks comforting...That bean looks like Italian flat beans..

  6. yup, agree with Priya above, it does look like italian flat beans. the korean squash daal looks delicious; i have seen the squash but never picked it.. next time!

  7. I love reading your garden posts. This one is also as cool as the others. Mystery beans, wayside Mulberries, friendly neighbourhood Gooseberries, Korean squashes cooked with Sambar powder! Simply amazing! :)

  8. HC, yes squash and dal are made for each other I have come to realize.

    Sayantani, bottle gourd will be perfect.

    Sharmila, thanks to you, I don't use a lot of chana dal but this one is a keeper. Pots works great. No land is not a deal breaker.

    Sandeepa, thank you. I had not till I actually bought it.

    Priya and PJ, they just might be Italian flat beans. I have only tried frozen before. Don't know how I got the seeds though!

    SS, thanks I am so glad. When you put it that way, makes me double happy too.

  9. To me the Korean squash looks like a cross between the inside of a ridge gourd and a bottle gourd!

  10. I am not used to cooking squash at all.. :)
    Nice to see the vegetable growing in your garden!nothing like homegrown vegetables! :)

    Yeah, Indo you'd def need half cup(indian std cup size) of malli for kadala curry.The water in which the channa gets cooked will be thin. Coriander is something which adds body to the gravy along with the coconut and chillies after grinding.You may try adding a bit less, but be prepared to have a thinner gravy! :)

    Get back to me with the feedback once you try and I'm all ears :)

    Looking forward to more garden grown veggie dishes! :)

  11. Bharathy,
    Squash is like our own gourds. They are plenty here.

    Makes sense. I will give kadala curry a go with the required amount of coriander seeds and coconut. If I do I won't blame you at all :)

  12. Lovely dhal, perfect for chapathis/ phulkas !

  13. How fun to get surprise vegetables! Your garden is oh so inspiring.

  14. Hi ISG, the Korean sq. looks a little like roly-poly zucchini -- for sure, more like bottle gourd inside! The beans look like Roma beans -- fresh green Italian beans as Priya and other mentioned. I really love them frozen -- more flavorful than regular green beans (not long beans). I couldn't find any seeds to plant them this year -- maybe next spring we can trade ;)

    Dal looks delicious!

  15. In Barbados, they call that bean string bean. Check out my vegan post here where I made a mallum with it: http://www.tasteslikehome.org/2010/01/my-first-vegan-dinner.html

  16. Hi Dear
    I have something extraordinary virtue in yourself. You are doing an amazing work by collecting a variety of seeds from different sources.

  17. wow!! all those mystery seeds would make me go crazy.... wondering what those were... and I don't know if I do have the patience like you to find out until the plant grows up and produces.

    the squash recipe looks yummy!

  18. Anything made from the garden feels good nah! I wasnt aware of this squash Indo..Hope you are keeping some seeds for me for next year ;)

    Just saw about the quake in DC, you guys OK?

    Been told to eat, eat and eat..so thinking of ways to include calcium, proteins, wheat and whatever I could get my hands on!

  19. Sowjanya, thanks for checking. We did feel the house shaking and were shook awake by the quake. We are all doing ok.

    In fact, we thought it could have airplane flying overhead. Anyway I checked the news after seeing your comment and realize the quake's epicenter was a mile from where we live.

  20. This is something new to me and looks yumm!

  21. This mystery bean is Romano Beans used in Italian cuisine. They taste great just sauteed with a little butter, garlic and lemon juice.


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